Assessing High Risk Sexual Behaviors Among Users of a Gay Sex Mobile Application

Grant Winners

  • Jesus Sanchez, Ph.D. – College of Pharmacy
  • Randy Denis, B.S., RN – College of Nursing
  • Heather Jarvis, B.S. – College of Pharmacy

Dean

  • Lisa Deziel, Ph.D., Pharm D. – College of Pharmacy

Abstract

Award Winners

Background: Men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to experience a disproportionate burden of new HIV infections in the United States, accounting for 34,500 (63%) of the approximate 50,000 yearly infections in the United States, and Miami has one of the highest rates of new HIV infections in the entire state of Florida.  The use of social networking sites and smartphone applications `apps' is being explored as new methods of reaching MSM engaging in risky sexual behaviors and encouraging HIV testing and behavioral intervention projects.

Methods: This community-based participatory research project (CBPR) will seek the input of Grindr (a mobile-based application for gay, bisexual, and curious men looking for dates and friends) app users to gain specific knowledge about their app-using activities through focus group interviews. These focus groups will used to collect information and development of an online survey to collect data on risky sexual behaviors.

Purpose: The purpose of this proposal is to actively engage Grindr users in the development of a survey that will be pilot tested and administered among members of the Grindr community in South Florida. These results will allow us to: (1) Utilize social media (Grindr) to recruit and engage the MSM community in focus groups and an online survey regarding their high risk sexual behaviors, HIV testing practices, and adherence to standard antiretroviral therapy (ART); and (2) Use this information to increase safer sexual behaviors, promote HIV testing, and improve adherence to ART among Grindr users.